Destroyer of Worlds (2020)

This one is a beast, a true monster. Destroyer of Worlds is an apt title. The number of horrible things that happen in this cinematic scenario might verge on comical, but to notice that, you’d have to stop concentrating on surviving, and then you’d be dead, so.

It starts with a manhunt for some marine deserters and quickly spirals out of control. Like, so wildly out of control. The moon you’re on is about to become a literal war zone as tensions between the United Americas and the Union of Progressive Peoples boil over. And, you know, this game is called Alien, so there might be some other problems looming too. The scenario plays out across three chapters, each progressively more effed up. By the end, your players are going to feel thoroughly frayed. I honestly have trouble picturing what the next scenario is going to be like. In terms of endless, compounding disasters, this one seems tough to top.

The box set is well done. There’s the scenario book and pre-gen characters and so, so many maps, all done in the monochrome green display style. There are more decks of cards for guns, character reference and personal agendas. There are also Story Cards, which are handed out during the game as secret cues that manifest in play, changing player behavior. Folks who chaff at “railroading” might hate these, but I kind of love the dramatic potential the Story Cards introduce.

Have I talked about the art yet? I love it, how cold it is. I usually am a bit ambivalent about digital painting that dominates modern RPGs, but it works for me here. Makes things seem frenetic and unsettled, gives the environments a remote, isolated feel. Loads of atmosphere.

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